Bexley City Council and the Bexley school board are supporting a group of residents stepping up to the plate to explore the possibility of turning vacant land into a park.
But for now the officials will remain on the bench.
"The school district is not actively seeking property," board President Diane Peterson emphasized April 10 before the board passed a resolution of support for exploration of a proposal for turning the vacant Woodland Meadows lot into a community park with athletic fields and other features. "This is simply an opportunity to explore the possibility of usage of the land. The intent of the school board is not to take the lead and go out and purchase property."
Shortly before the board vote, City Council passed an identical resolution stating their own support and citing specific information they would like the exploration committee to gather.
That information includes:
•Available public and/or private funding for the project.
•Evaluation of the liens and legal foreclosure proceedings on the property.
•Market value and cost of acquisition of the land.
•The extent to which Bexley and Columbus police forces can and will provide services.
•Input and interest from leaders of the City of Columbus, the Columbus school board, neighborhood associations, and Franklin County officials.
•Evaluation of existing environmental studies and other environmental factors.
•An assessment of needs and the feasibility of proposed uses for the site and the cost of implementing these uses.
Council and the board are asking for a report within 120 days or before the sheriff’s sale, which has been postponed on several occasions.
The group, led by Bexley athletic booster Paul Kolada, will operate as an informal committee. But it could evolve into a sanctioned commission, such as the one that studied Jeffrey Mansion, Councilman Jeff McClelland said.